Boehner Critical of Lack of VA Reform Under New Leadership

In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives today, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) criticized the lack of significant action to reform the Veterans Administration one year after the firing of former director Shinseki and the installation of Robert McDonald to the post.

Boehner said the VA has made little progress since Shinseki resigned, despite a new law that overhauled the agency and authorized $16 billion in new spending over three years.  He indicated that he is especially frustrated that so few VA officials have been fired, despite evidence that at least 110 VA facilities kept secret lists to hide long wait times.

“If only the VA did half as good a job taking care of our veterans as they do their own bureaucrats,” he said.

At Civilian Exposure, we hope Speaker Boehner is sincere in wanting to address the mess at the VA (and other agencies for that matter).  Unfortunately, given the upcoming Memorial holiday, this hints of more of well-timed rhetoric than substantive concern and action.

Regardless, we welcome more anger and action from Congress to fix problems within the VA.  Those problems, including the bureaucracy and mismanagement, continue to hinder progress for victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination.  With lack of transparency surrounding SMEs involved in case analysis, and claim denial rates currently hovering at 95%, veterans exposed are not getting the care they deserve.

As goes the VA, so goes the DOD, the DOL and any other agency that will have to address claims at Camp Lejeune for the decades of water contamination that have caused a generational health catastrophe.  We’ll continue to keep the heat on the VA, the DOD and the DOL to ensure that civilians and veterans get the awareness, accountability and assistance they deserve.

We challenge Speaker Boehner to step up and lead more direct efforts to compel the VA to do just that.

Here are Speaker Boehner’s remarks:

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Civilian Exposure

Civilian Exposure is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization/public charity working to Build Awareness, Accountability and Assistance for Civilians Exposed to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination and all citizens exposed to any toxic contamination aboard all U.S. military installations. The effort continues to inform civilian employees and others affected by contamination to receive both the guidance and the justice they deserve.

About the Founder
A 20-year veteran of media, marketing, non-profits and entrepreneurship, Gavin P. Smith leads Civilian Exposure, a non-profit assisting civilians and veterans exposed to U.S. military contamination; the Keta Foundation, a collaborative foundation dedicated to mitigating modern slavery through economic improvement projects in Africa; and Gavin Consulting, a network of virtual experts serving global clients; He is also a former member of the CDC/ATSDR Camp Lejeune Community Assistance Panel. Mr. Smith holds a Master of Global Management with distinction (Beta Gamma Sigma) from Thunderbird School of Global Management, an MBA from The College of William & Mary Mason School of Business and a BA in History from Wake Forest University.

One thought on “Boehner Critical of Lack of VA Reform Under New Leadership

  • May 21, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    If only Boehner was anywhere near as critical to his fellow lying politicians as he is to the VA. While the VA may not be ideal, Boehner and his cohorts cutting the funding has a lot to do with the slow response time he is so critical of. It’s like getting pissed because the person you refused to pay is slow to bring you your drink. . . .


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